Dan Bricklin Receives IEEE∆s Computer Entrepreneur Award

For the first time, a software leader received IEEE's prestigious Computer Entrepreneur Award. Dan Bricklin, co-creator of the first electronic spreadsheet, VisiCalc, received the award in the Grand Ballroom of the Boston ITT Sheraton hotel.

The Computer Entrepreneur Award is awarded to managers and leaders that are responsible for the growth of some segment of the computer industry, or technical managers whose entrepreneurial leadership built the computer industry. The efforts must have taken place over fifteen years earlier, and the industry effects must be generally and openly visible.

Dan Bricklin received the award "for pioneering the development and commercialization of the electronic spreadsheet and the profound changes it fostered in business and industry."

This is the first time a leader specializing in software has been selected for the Computer Entrepreneur Award. Previous recipients include: Kenneth Olson (1985), William Norris (1985), Gordon Moore (1986), Robert Noyce (1986), Gene Amdahl (1989), J. Presper Eckert (1990), David Packard (1995), William Hewlett (1995), and Andrew Grove (1997).

"In 1979, Dan Bricklin was co-creator of VisiCalc, the first electronic spreadsheet, and founder of the Software Arts company. His pioneering entrepreneurial spirit and his demonstration of the business value of personal computing was the catalyst that allowed for the rise of the personal computing marketplace we know today," according to Dr. Barry Johnson, President of the IEEE Computer Society and a Professor at the University of Virginia, who presented the award. "All of the computing industry and most business organizations have been forever changed. Bricklin's effort introduced a new paradigm of business computing that was refined by Lotus 1-2-3 and took the business world by storm. Today, no one would think about making financial or business plans without the computerized spreadsheet. Bricklin's impact on computing is seen every day in every office and business."

According to Elliot Chikofsky, chair of the IEEE Computer Entrepreneur Award committee and a principal consultant with the DMR TRECOM consulting group, "Dan Bricklin's selection recognizes the profound impact that a software entrepreneur can have on the computing industry at large. We also recognize the continuing nature of entrepreneurship.

Throughout his career, Bricklin has developed and explored new approaches, from spreadsheets to product prototyping, pen computing, and how best to take advantage of on-line connectivity, and he has encouraged others to do so. Dan Bricklin is a leading exemplar of the ongoing entrepreneurial spirit in computing."